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Advent Day 10: The Things I Regret

With the weight of the world resting on my back, And the road on which I've travelled is as long as it is cracked But I keep pressing forward with my feet to the ground, For a heart that is broken makes a beautiful sound

The Things I Regret, Brandi Carlile


Brandi Carlile’s music pulses with raw energy, and this song is no exception. She somehow expresses both the cry of a wounded heart and a sense of relentless optimism. Her words have a lovely poeticism which articulate this tension well. I particularly love her line, ‘For a heart that is broken makes a beautiful sound’. As I’ve said in some of my previous reflections (see Day 8 and Day 9), it is one of life’s greatest mysteries that we often find beauty in the midst of brokenness. This is a paradox that that most of us can probably relate to in some way.

Carlile’s lyrics are another lens through which we can view the incarnation, because Jesus is surely the ultimate embodiment of the beautiful, broken heart. He is ‘crushed’ so that we can know peace; as it says in Isaiah 53:5, ‘By his wounds we are healed.’

The weight of regret, guilt, and shame that weighs on humanity, which is expressed so poignantly in this song, is forever removed. Jesus truly understands what it is to have ‘the weight of the world resting’ on his back; he takes on our load to set us free from our own heavy burdens. The old carol, ‘It came Upon a Midnight Clear’, puts it beautifully:

O ye, beneath life's crushing load, Whose forms are bending low, Who toil along the climbing way With painful steps and slow, Look now! for glad and golden hours Come swiftly on the wing; O rest beside the weary road And hear the angels sing


This is part of my LittlePonderings series: "Unseasonal Songs: An Alternative Advent in Song Lyrics". You can find out more here.

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